MILAN – Today the art world remembers the birth of Paul Klee, an artist of Swiss origin who represents, together with Wassily Kandinskij, the painter who has made the greatest contribution to a new painting based on abstract characters. “For Klee, abstract art is not a goal to be reached but a starting point and a means to re-establish a painting that freely represents the world of forms and ideas. Very fascinated by the figurative world of childhood, he always preserves in his work a levity and lightness that give simplicity and elegance to his images ”(F. Morante). The beginnings
Paul Klee was born in the small municipality of Munchenbuchsee near Bern on December 18, 1879, but the family moved to the Swiss capital a few months later. The son of a music teacher and a singer, Klee was also an excellent violinist and a lover above all of the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner, who constituted an important component in his education and a constant interest throughout his life. He also frequent opera and prose theaters a lot. Between Monaco and Paris
Between 1898 and 1901 he moved to Munich in the Schwabing artists’ quarter. Here I attend the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. Franz von Stuck was his teacher and I came into contact with the Jugendstil artistic current. Between 1902 and 1906 he fell in love with Gustav Klimt, William Blake and Goya. Particularly in 1905, when he stayed in Paris for the first time, he was able to see many works from the Impressionists to Leonardo to Rembrandt. A series of etchings as well as 26 watercolors on glass date back to this period. In September 1906 he married a musician Lily Stumps with whom he had a son. Also in the same year he exhibited at the international exhibition of the Secession in Munich. In 1909 he exhibited 2 works at the Berlin Secession exhibition.The blue Rider
In 1911 he met artists such as Auguste Macke, Franz Marc and Vasilij Kandinskij, with whom he later gave birth to the group of ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ (The blue knight) with whom he exhibited in Berlin. In the same year he met, during a trip to Paris, Robert Delaunay, a simultaneous-cubist painter, whose research on color and light influenced him. In 1912 he exhibited 17 works at Blaue Reiter’s second Berlin exhibition. Decisive for the painter was his trip to Tunis and Hammamet with Louis Moilliet and Macke in 1914. From that moment on, Klee himself claimed to have fully mastered color and began to prefer warm tones, typical of this geographical area, in his works. . He wrote in the same year: ‘This is the happiest moment of my life …. color and I are one: I am a painter’. In April 1914 he exhibited in Berlin together with Marc Chagall. In 1916, when he was already over 36, he was called to arms to take his leave in December 1918. It should be noted that both the war years and his commitment to the army did not prevent Klee from continuing to paint and draw. From 1917 I began to exhibit with greater continuity and always in the same year a solo show of him in Zurich aroused great enthusiasm in the Dadaists. Also during his military service, in 1918, he wrote the essay ‘The creative confession’ (published in 1920) whose text provided the basis for the courses in the theory of form and theory of color that Klee landed, starting from 1920, at the Bauhaus of Weimar. After serving three years in the German army at the front during World War I,The teaching years
In 1920 he was called by the architect Walter Gropius to teach painting. Klee applied himself to teaching with enthusiasm, having the possibility of organizing the theoretical aspect of his artistic making in a more systematic way. In the Klee school he carried out a strong balancing action, Gropius called him ‘the extreme moral demand of the Bauhaus’. He was nicknamed the Buddha by his pupils: he was very detached, in fact, from all the social activities of the school and was considered, always by his pupils, like an oracle. The experience ended in 1931 and later he took up teaching at the Dusseldorf Academy. In 1933 Klee was forced by the Nazi regime to resign from the Dusseldorf Academy, as the regime judged his production,The last years and death
So I leave Germany to move back to his hometown, where I continue to paint, despite the very serious health problems due to progressive scleroderma. In the last years of his life he applied for Swiss citizenship, which was granted him only posthumously. He died on June 29, 1940 in the town of Muralto, near Locarno. In June 2005 the Zentrum Paul Klee was opened in Bern, entirely dedicated to the artist: it hosts more than 4000 works by him, as well as spaces dedicated to conferences, workshops for young people, a library, and thematic exhibitions. The Zentrum was designed by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano and, respecting Klee’s primary sources of inspiration, is built with extensive use of wood and is characterized by the omnipresence of natural light.

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